One of the most famous and important buildings in Gorliz is the former Marine Sanatorium, which currently belongs to the Basque public health hospital network. Located a few metres from the beach, its clear colours and singular facade make it an easily recognizable building.
The Gorliz Sanatorium was founded in June 1919. It is the first and the oldest hospital built entire with armed concrete in the state.
As for the shape and the colours used, it was made taking as an example the buildings that existed at the time in the French city Pas de Calais. Some of the visitors think it is a spa because of the facade.
The design included that windows were going to be large to let a lot of natural light in and within a compound there would be several buildings to divide the area where nurses slept and the one where the patients stayed.
The ideologue of the now Gorliz Hospital was Dr Areilza. In collaboration with other professionals, he drafted a project to tackle the health crisis that Biscay was suffering at that time. There were more and more children with bone tuberculosis, so it was decided it was time to stop it.
For this, they analysed the waters, location and climatic conditions of some places until deciding that the sanatorium was going to be built in Gorliz. Apart from the large space that allowed locating it by the sea, Gorliz had, and continues to do so, waters rich in iodine and more sunlight hours than any other beach in Bizkaia. So, the first Helium-therapeutic Maritime Sanatorium was created.
As the number of children with tuberculosis decreased, children with other diseases were also treated here.
Years after it was founded, during the Civil War, the Sanatorium had to be evacuated. The hospital was left empty of both tuberculous patients and the staff who assisted them because they all went to France, where they were able to continue the treatment.
One hundred years later, the Sanatorium is still standing and continues working as a hospital.
In the gardens of the Hospital there is the bust of Laureano de Jado, the benefactor of the hospital. And in Astondo looking towards his work, it is the bust of the Areilza Doctor. Both of them were sculpted by Moises Huertas.
Video information about the Gorliz Marine Sanatorium.